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Updated Jan 31, 2022 at 01:42PM EST by Philipp.

Added Jun 08, 2017 at 02:57PM EDT by Matt.

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Duolingo is a language-learning educational application for web and mobile devices. The platform assesses users through a variety of tests, using writing, reading comprehension, and speech, which become increase in difficulty depending on the user's proficiency.


Work on Duolingo began at the end of 2009.[1] Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Luis von Ahn, the inventor of CAPTCHA, and Severin Hacker, a graduate student, wanted to create an app that would teach people a new language but also translate simple phrases around the internet.[2] Ahn also wanted to create a free way for people around the world to learn new languages, something that was very expensive in his home country of Guatemala.[3] In exchange for the user's translations, Duolingo has remained free for users.

Funded by a MacArthur fellowship[4] and a grant from the National Science Foundation,[5] Duolingo launched a public beta on November 30th, 2011 with a waiting list of more than 300,000, before releasing to the general public on June 19th, 2012. The app hit the iOS App Store on November 13th and the Google Play Store on May 29th, 2013.


Duolingo offers courses in more than 20 languages. The app assesses student proficiency through more than 68 courses, which ask the user to read, listen, and speak different languages.

To keep students engaged, the developers gamified Duolingo, encouraging users through a streak count, which motivates users by tallying how many days in a row they have taken classes, experience points, and hearts -- if all hearts are depleted in a session, the user must retake the lesson.

In Duolingo, users gain "lingot, "a portmanteau of lingo and ingot," (now called Gems) for good performance. Lingot allows users to purchase different items in the game.

As of May 2017, Duolingo offers 23 course for users who know English. They include:

    Latin American Spanish


In December 2013, Duolingo became the first education app to be awarded Apple's iPhone App of the Year award.[6]

Duolingo Poem

On June 7th, 2017, Twitter user @missellabell[8] posted a poem entitled "My Sister Goes To The Institute" comprised of the best sentences from Duolingo's Beginner's Spanish Course. The posts (shown below) received more than 4,000 retweets and 8,900 likes.

My sister goes to the institute; my parents do not love her. They have another child. Yes, it is me. I am a policeman. I work as a policeman. I work as a guard. My sister goes to the institute. She eats bread and drinks water, never milk or cake. She eats her salad without salt, without oil. She hears everything. When I hear a bell, I eat a good dinner. I eat more. More and more. I am a policeman. For dinner there is chicker and potatoes. I eat because she cooks. I see her. She sees everything. What do I see? I am a policeman; I ask the questions. A man is coming. I see him: see! He is practically my brother. Men against women The man has a weapon. I ask the questions. Where is she? She is at the institute. (At the institute They do not eat. They do not drink. They do not cook. They do not speak.) I ask the questions. What is a revolution? Men against women. Women against men The man has a weapon, all men have weapons. The soldiers have guns. The colonel has a bomb. All men have weapons. She eats bread without butter, drinks tea without sugar. She does not want salt. I ask the man the question. What is a revolution? He says nothing. According to him, All good things must come to an end. It is then. It is only a second. Women against men They come. They take the salt. They take the butter. They take the sugar, which is sweet. She takes the weapon. She gives the man the bread without butter, without oil, without salt. She is glad. They are glad. The women come. The women go. And Afterwards There is nothing left. But we are still here. The men are here without oil without salt.

Among the many other people retweets and reacting to the poem, Duolingo's official Twitter account[9] replied to @missellabell, saying, "You write beautiful poetry @missellabell and we are honored to be your muse." Their reply (shown below) received more than 120 retweets and 900 likes in 24 hours.

Twitter published a Moments[10] page on the poem, documenting the piece and the reaction.

Duolingo^ @duolingo You write beautiful poetry @missellabell and we are honored to be your muse Ella Risbridger @missellabell Here is a sort-of found poem called My Sister Goes To The Institute. tute It is all the best sentences from my Duolingo Beginner's Spanish.

Evil Duolingo Own

Evil Duolingo Owl is a series of parodies of the mascot for the language learning application Duolingo. In these memes, Duo, the Duolingo owl, is a dangerous teacher, who threatens users when they do not use the application.

The duolingo bird when you haven't practiced in 2 days Beg for your life in Spanish IT'S SPANISH TIME! 0.0 NO, DUO, NO! TEEN COMIX Duo the Owl is typing. No FEAR ONE FEAR

Strange Duolingo Sentences

Strange Duolingo Sentences is a gimmick Twitter account which collects Duolingo translation prompts that appear menacing, unsettling, sociopathic or in another way weird. The launch of the account in January was preceded by many social media posts sharing such sentences going viral in previous years.

God, give me a chance. Please take a ----- shower immediately.


As of May 2017, Duolingo had more than 170 million users worldwide.[7]

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Top Comments

Dick Crosby - ウエイバーコホーム
Dick Crosby - ウエイバーコホーム

in reply to Adept Samuel

inb4 isthisameme.jpg

With all do respects, but Duolingo seems to have little to no impact to internet culture other than teaching new languages. What this site also lacks are memes. This is very crucial for this entry to have, and also they need to have enough popularity.

Even though an entry in KYM is well researched, at times they can get deadpooled. For instance, Monster Musume was once deadpooled by RandomMan prior to the anime adaption, which helped boosts it's popularity to have Platus putting it on submission and later having the entry confirmed. Fucking hell, you can do what Epyc Wyn did with his entry on Philosophy IN GENERAL I shit you not This is what Triple Zed said regarding to Epyc Wyn's entry. Also, please don't kill me for mentioning his name. I was trying to make a point


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